UP TO 56,000 people are facing hunger and starvation in Lunga District of Luapula Province, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition (CSO-SUN) Alliance has revealed.
The alliance says this is due to floods and has since urged government to increase nutrition programmes support to the floods affected areas to help manage the acute malnutrition.
CSO-SUN country coordinator Mathews Mhuru said the hunger situation in Lunga District was not getting any better but worsening on a daily basis.
Recently, CSO-SUN Alliance undertook a three day fact finding tour on Lunga District in Luapula Province to get first hand information on the current hunger situation in the district.
Giving a report on the tour at the media briefing in Lusaka, Mhuru said flood victims in Lungu District had been grappling with hunger caused mainly by flooding of the island.
He noted that farmers in the areas have literally harvested nothing, saying maize and cassava fields get submerged almost every year due to heavy rains.
“We call on the Government and cooperating partners to render support to the health facility in Lunga district by expanding the nutrition programmes which include cooking demonstrations to increase knowledge on healthy and diverse food preparation and consumption. Currently, the demonstrations conducted by the Clinic in the area only cater for mealie and rice-based foods which are not adequate in the management of malnutrition,” said Mhuru.
“We have also noted the urgent need for the health facility to be supplied with therapeutic foods for the management of severe acute malnutrition which will prevent the affected children from traveling to Samfya just to access these services.”
He further appealed to NGOs and others partners working in the Agriculture space to extend their services to Lunga to support the newly formed cooperatives with inputs and other requirements needed for their production.
Mhuru said FISP alone was not enough to cater for the growing need of agriculture produce in the district.
“We have talked about the cooperatives that have been formed to produce seasonal foods in the area. These need the support of the government to expand their agricultural activity by supplying them with agricultural inputs as well as establishing behavior change programs so as to reduce their dependence on fishing,” said Mhuru.
©Kalemba July 11, 2020